5 Newer NYHC Bands to Check Out, by Andrew Vacante (Combust)

Combust (Photo: James Scott)

Late last year, I told you about a new NYHC band that I was excited about called Combust. Featuring former members of such groups as Impact and Vice, Combust's 2017 demo brings to mind the street-ready sounds of Killing Time and Rest In Pieces, and in vocalist Andrew Vacante, they have a frontman with the kind of assured personality to pull it all off.

In the constant search for newer hardcore, I'm always reaching out to folks from across the globe to get updates on stuff happening in their local scenes. Since Andrew is based out of Staten Island, aka Shaolin, a borough of NYC, I asked him to send me a list of a few acts there he's hot on at the moment. I had written about two of the bands on his list before, but he's also turned me onto some killer stuff.

Check out Andrew's list below!


Sebastian singing for Regulate, United Blood, 2016. (Photo: Ken Penn for Just a Minor Threat)

TOS put out a demo right at the beginning of 2018 and I was a huge fan. Comprised of members of various LIHC bands such as Regulate, Hangman, and Rule Them All, these 4 tracks are a constant assault that don’t let up for a second. Right off the bat with the first track, “Nohbody,” I could hear Cro-Mags and even some of that Japanese hardcore influence in the vain of Death Side and Bastard. There are a lot of breakdowns on this demo that kind of gave me the vibe that '90s Long Island bands had. Lyrics are a big deal to me and I believe TOS took it to the next level with some of the content, and imagery with a somewhat poetic flow in the vocabulary. Seb’s high-pitched grittiness drenched in reverb compliment the guitar tone very well and the drumming on the record is phenomenal and give it even more of that NY vibe. With the combination of imagery, lyrics, and production, this demo was an awesome delivery and I strongly advise you to keep this band on your radar. 

The Fight

Put on your best leather jacket for this next band... Another group of guys coming from Long Island, this is the perfect kinda shit for punks and hardcore kids alike. They released a promo recently and the first track starts off with a great sound clip of the legend himself, Sheer Terror vocalist Paul Bearer with another famous rant which inevitably ends with him telling you to kiss his fat ass. The best part I about this is the fact that you can obviously hear the Sheer Terror influence. It’s clear that The Fight is a New York hardcore punk band but Kyle’s voice really gives it that push over the edge that makes you wanna absolutely lose it as he spews hatred towards his own hometown with tracks like “Nuke Long Island." Followed by the 3 original tracks are Chaos U.K. and The Nihilistics covers which perfectly fit the band's style. Every single track from their first demo to the promo is no-bullshit perfect hardcore punk structure. Fast-paced and pissed off followed by the hard parts that you come to expect and love. This band follows the formula and kills it. 


Mindforce at FYA Fest 5, 2018. (Photo: Kiabad Meza)

Wow...what can I say about this unstoppable force that hasn’t already been said? Hailing from the Hudson Valley, which isn’t really known for hardcore (let’s be honest) but that is completely OK because this band has been on a steady rise since the minute they dropped their demo. I’ve been following these guys since their previous endeavor, Living Laser, and even then I know they were doing something consisting of pure energy and talent. With Jay’s non-stop stage presence, Mike’s insane guitar skills and blistering solos, and Donny’s straight-up hard hitting, right in the pocket drumming this is a perfect recipe for a hardcore band.

These guys bring that coveted crossover sound that so many people attempt but they nail it in every single way. With ifluences ranging from Best Wishes-era Mags, Leeway, and even some old-school death metal at some points, it’s like watching lightning in a bottle and listening to absolute chaos. I can go on and rant about how much I love every song but instead I’m just going to tell you to check out every release they have online and go see them and watch Jay jump off some big shit in a polo rugby. These guys are all fathers and can write heavier and faster songs than any kid I’ve ever met. With their recent signing to Triple-B Recordsm I’m sure the next release will not disappoint. Do yourself a favor and get into this band if you haven’t already. 

The Lion's Cage 

New York City isn’t as rough as it used to be but it’s awesome to hear a band from here that makes you feel like it still is. The Lion's Cage from Brooklyn is a fairly newer band and is one of the few that are carrying the torch for hardcore in NYC. This band gives you that raw attitude and punch that reminds me of shows at the Acheron and ABC No Rio in 2007. Basically every track is a driving, fast, classic arrangment with a good slam following just like hardcore should be played. These guys deliver every single time I’ve seen them play and I hope to see more bands begin to form in NYC because surprisingly, the number is dangerously low. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some new straight-up hardcore to check out, The Lion's Cage is a good place to start. 


Photo: Angela Owens

Probably one of my favorite bands out now who put out one of my favorite demos of 2017 that is still in my rotation regularly. Coming from members of bands like Fury,  Glory and Countdown there’s no surprise that this would be another insane installment. I’m convinced Connor Jones has mastered the art form of writing riffs. This band is straight up Cro-Mags and True Blue worship in the best way possible among many other elements. These guys sound like a band that would fit right in playing with all the hardcore and thrash bands who would play at L’amour's in Brooklyn back in the day.

The musicianship and insane riffs can stand on their own but Alex’s voice definitely stands out and sets this band apart from most. He’s got a unique approach and delivery along with a growl and tone that gives them that grimy New York '90s vibe. Could remind me of Darkside NYC and Confusion maybe? Anyway, every track on this demo is a perfect song from start to finish and it brings something fresh to the table. Can’t wait to hear some new stuff from them. 

Tagged: combust hardcore, illusion hardcore, mindforce, nyhc